Board of Directors
Mr. Nesa Joseph, Chair
Mr. Nesa Joseph is President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Greater St. Louis, Missouri and has held several leadership positions in hospitals and medical groups throughout the US and India for over 25 years. Before joining VNA, Mr. Joseph was responsible for the administrative operations including finance and investments at the Deaconess Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of the United Church of Christ, Cleveland, Emmaus Homes Trust Foundation, St. Louis, and Global Health Ministries, Minneapolis. Mr. Joseph holds a BS in Biology, graduate degrees in Personnel Management and Hospital Administration, and a Doctorate in Education with a focus on Medical Administration. He is a member of St. Paul UCC, Lebanon, Illinois of the Illinois South Conference. Mr. Joseph is married to his graduate school classmate Anney; they are blessed with two children Sarah and Aneesh.
Ms. Dale Bonds
Ms. Bonds is a member of Central St. Matthew UCC in New Orleans and is retired from the IBM Corporation as a Systems Availability Engineer with a BA in mathematics. Ms. Bonds is a Katrina survivor, rebuilding her home after the storm and instrumental in combining two devastated congregations into the vibrant Central St. Matthew. Ms. Bonds is the President of the Board of Directors of the UCC Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi. She served as Assistant Moderator of General Synod 29.
The Rev. Dr. Charles Buck
As the Hawai’i Conference Minister, the Rev. Charles Buck provides oversight of all ecclesiastical, financial, legal, and personnel matters for the judicatory and is the executive, administrative and spiritual head of 130 UCC churches. Along with his commitment to UCF, Mr. Buck in on the Hawai`i Conference Foundation Board of Trustees, Mid-Pacific Institute Board of Trustees, Hawai`i Council of Churches Fund Board, Craigside Retirement Community Board, and the Micronesian Council United Church of Christ Executive Board. Mr. Buck holds a Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a Ph.D in Historical Musicology from Stanford University. He is currently a member of the Waiokeola Congregational UCC in Honolulu.
The Rev. John Dorhauer
Rev. Dorhauer is an author and theologian, currently serves as ninth General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. Before his election at the 30th General Synod in June 2015, Dorhauer was the Conference Minister of the Southwest Conference of the UCC, the regional body that provides support and services to 47 local UCC congregations and clergy within Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary (2004), where he studied white privilege and its effects on the church.
The Rev. Kathy Dwyer
The Rev. Kathy Dwyer has served as Senior Pastor at Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ since 2010. Prior to Rock Spring, she was the Senior Minister at St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church UCC, Pastor of Trinity UCC, and the Director of Children’s Ministries at the First Community Church in Columbus, OH. The Rev. Dwyer received a BA from Miami University Ohio, an MA of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio— where she was also a trustee — and was ordained by the UCC in 1998. In 2009 she received her Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching from the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Ms. Barbara Everett
Ms. Barbara Everett spent the larger part of her career in higher education administration at the University of the South Sewanee, Tennessee, where she generated significant annual operating revenue for the school. Prior to this, Ms. Everett spent a decade in financial development at the national setting of the UCC, Eden Seminary in St. Louis, MO and Uplands Village in Pleasant Hill, TN. Currently retired, she is an active lay-woman, serving as the Moderator of her local church. Ms. Everett chaired her Association’s Committee on Ministry and her Conference Board of Directors as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the former Office of Communication and the Executive Council — where she chaired the Finance and Budget Committee. Ms. Everett is an honors graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and lives with her husband in Pleasant Hill, TN.
Ms. Sylvia G. Ferrell-Jones
Since 2007, Ms. Sylvia Ferrell-Jones has served as President & CEO of the YWCA Boston, following 25 years in real estate investment management, not-for-profit governance and executive leadership. Serving as a director at Boston-based AEW Capital Management and as a principal investment officer for the State of Connecticut Trust Funds, Ms. Ferrell-Jones managed equity and debt portfolios of up to $2 billion. She also served as Regional Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, providing governance, management and fundraising consultations to a portfolio of not-for-profit affiliates. Holding a BA from Cornell University and a JD from Yale Law School, Ms. Ferrell-Jones serves as a Trustee of Andover Newton Theological School. In addition to having served as Moderator and member of several committees, Ms. Ferrell-Jones sings in the choir and serves on the Pastoral Relations Committee at Pilgrim Congregational, UCC.
Ms. Edith Guffey
Ms. Edith Guffey has served the UCC for over 20 years and is currently the Conference Minister for the Kansas Oklahoma Conference, where she works alongside the Board of Directors in financial leadership and development. Her prior roles include — Associate Conference Minister for the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, and Chief Operating Officer for the UCC National Offices in Cleveland, OH. Ms. Guffey holds a BA in Sociology from Baker University in Baldwin City, KS and an MSW from the University of Kansas. She has extensive board administration and strategic leadership experience, and lives in Mayfield Heights, OH.
The Honorable Brian F. Holeman
The Honorable Brian F. Holeman is an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and a former member of the Office of General Ministries Board of Directors, serving on the Executive Council from 2003 to 2009. He also served as the Chair of the Organizational Life Committee for two of those years and was deeply involved as a member of the Governance Follow-Up Team. After leaving the Executive Council, Mr. Holeman participated in the Constitutional Working Group, rewriting the Constitution and Bylaws to enable the Proposal for Single Governance. Prior to confirmation by the United States Senate of his appointment to the court, Mr. Holeman was a practicing attorney. He is a member of Peoples Congregational UCC in Washington, DC where he lives with his wife and son.
The Rev. Dr. Sandra Hulse
Pastor of St. John’s UCC in San Francisco, the Rev. Sandra Hulse spent 15 years in taxable fixed income trading and as an officer with EF Hutton and other brokerage firms before being ordained in 1995. A graduate of Muhlenberg College, Dr. Hulse earned an MA in Counseling from Montclair State University, an MDiv from Drew Theological School, and a DMin from the University of Creation Spirituality. In addition to pastoring churches across the UCC, Dr. Hulse has served on the budget and finance committees of the Central Atlantic, New York, Florida and Northern California Nevada Conferences.
The Rev. Gwendolyn V. Kirkland
A Certified Financial Planner®, the Rev. Gwendolyn V. Kirkland has worked as a Registered Investment Advisor and General Securities Principal and Managing Principal of Kirkland, Turnbo & Associates since 1994, after eight years with Dean Witter. A dynamic speaker, the Rev. Kirkland discussed the debt crisis on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and has addressed a range of investment topics in articles appearing in Essence, Money Magazine, Black Enterprise, and EBONY . She was also recognized in the Chicago magazine as a 5 Star Wealth Manager in Chicago. A graduate of Bradley University with a MEd from DePaul University, the Rev. Kirkland earned a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary while maintaining her financial practice, and was ordained in 2010. She serves Covenant UCC in South Holland, IL as Associate Pastor of Stewardship, and serves on the Stewardship Committee of the Illinois Conference.
The Rev. Penny Lowes
Since her ordination in 1999, the Rev. Penny Lowes has served as the Associate Pastor for the First Congregational UCC in Rochester and as Senior Pastor at the Congregational Church of Birmingham UCC in Bloomfield Hills, MI. The Rev. Lowes received a BA in Education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, an MA in Education from the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan, and an MA of Divinity Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Evangelical Homes of Michigan and the Ecumenical Theological Seminary of Detroit. The Rev. Lowes has also been a keynote speaker at several UCC-related workshops and programs through the years and recently completed her term as chair of the Executive Council at the national setting of the UCC. Additionally, the Rev. Lowes is a freelance writer.
Mr. William P. Morgan
Mr. William P. Morgan is a CPA with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Cleveland State University and an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Mr. Morgan was the CFO for the UCC National Offices for six years and has held the position of CEO, CFO and COO for organizations ranging in size — the largest a $400M company with a $55M budget. He also served as a Board Member and Trustee for the UCC Pension Boards where he was Chair-Elect for six years, overseeing the Budget Committee and the Audit Committee. Mr. Morgan is the founder of an event planning and catering company, and owner of a residential real estate management business he started in 1989. He is an entrepreneur with exceptional financial acumen and skills in process improvement, lean operations management, strategic planning and enterprise-wide systems.
Mr. Mark R. Parthemer
Mark R. Parthemer, AEP, is Managing Director and Senior Fiduciary Counsel for Bessemer Trust, a wealth management firm for high net-worth individuals. He is a well-known national speaker, frequently published author, and wealth planning magazine columnist. He chairs several fiduciary law committees of the American Bar Association and is ABA Liaison to, and Chair-Elect of, Synergy Summit. Mr. Parthemer serves on the Florida Bankers Association Trust Division Executive Council and chairs its Legislation Committee. A member of the Florida and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, he has garnered Lifetime Achievement honors for over 15 years as one of The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Parthemer received his JD from the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University, following BA and BS degrees from Franklin and Marshall College. He is an avid golfer, active in his church and serves on several national committees, including as Chair of UCC’s Wider Church Ministries Budget & Finance Committee.
Ms. Darlene Sowell
Ms. Darlene Sowell is the President & CEO of Neighborhood Houses, a ministry of CHHSM in St. Louis that works with children and families through early childhood education, school age and teen programs. Prior to this position, Ms. Sowell worked for another CHHSM agency, Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network (UCAN), a child welfare agency in Chicago, as an Executive Vice President of human resources and housing programs. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Ms. Sowell, received a BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She also serves on the CHHSM board and is a UCC member.
Mr. Wade Zick
Mr. Wade Zick has spent over 20 years in youth leadership and currently serves as the Associate Conference Minister of Faith Formation for Children and Youth in the Minnesota Conference. His work includes administration of the Ashley Trust, a $7.2 million endowment, and management of the conference camp, Pilgrim Point. He received a BA in Religious Education from the Reformed Bible College and an MA in Education from Grand Valley State University. Mr. Zick also completed course work in fundraising and nonprofit leadership at the University of Saint Thomas, and an internship with the Financial Development Ministries of the UCC. His extensive background in church and youth leadership has seen him providing financial guidance to a number of ministries and boards.
The Rev. Dr. Harold C. Smith